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Festival Rolland began in 2017 when two friends from San Francisco accepted a long-standing invitation to come play music in Avallon. The friends were cellist James Jaffe and pianist Ian Scarfe, and the enthusiastic response to their recital encouraged them to return the following year to establish a recurring summer music festival. The festival borrows its name from Nobel prizewinner Romain Rolland, whose writings on Beethoven’s music made a deep impact on James.
For audiences, Festival Rolland serves as a vehicle of cultural exchange. Using the common language of music, we share the Bay Area’s fresh, entrepreneurial spirit with audiences in France, and we bring a sense of France’s long, enchanting artistic tradition back to Bay Area audiences.
For artists, Festival Rolland serves as a place for renewal. We encourage artists to renew their relationships with silence, with music, and with each other. We accomplish this by stepping aside from daily life, diving deeply into chamber music rehearsal and performance, and developing our relationship with the region of Burgundy.
Festival Rolland is a fiscally-sponsored affiliate of InterMusic SF, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to small-ensemble music in the San Francisco Bay Area.